It began in February, Governor David Umahi led his lieutenants in the war against the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic, when some other leaders, developed cold feet about it.
His first port of call was socioeconomic hotspots -banks, eateries, pharmacies, etc. with a precautionary message adherence to all the COVID-19 protocols. Also, all the entering and exit routes of the state. For what? The Governor heard those from the virus epicentre (s) are finding their way to the state, greater percentage of these people being from Ebonyi State!
To guard against entering and infecting those at home, he personally had to be at the border locations, sending migrants back to where they came from. This was done even in the late hours of 12, 1, 3 AM. Weeks after that method witnessed huge sabotage and holding centres were introduced.
This one recorded huge successes – those caught were solitarily confined in the holding centres after which they will be transferred to the Isolation Centre for treatment if they are positive.
Former state secretariat, Unity Square, Government Technical College and the Stadium were temporarily converted to Isolation Centres to provide the needed facilities for handling the virus. Much energy, resources and commitment were deployed to prevent the COVID-19 from entering into the state. As if it was not enough, Governor Umahi immediately completed 50 and 300-bed Ultramodern Treatment and Isolation Centres. The first and best of its type.
Added to these, is the 13 General Hospitals in the state currently being upgraded to provide complex medical operations and services, latest being Elinwovbu General Hospital in Amagu community Abakaliki which has since commenced medical activities with a 150-bed capacity. It’s one intervention too many in the fight against the virus. It is safe to insist that if devotion of personal efforts, resources and dexterity were needed to keep the virus at bay, Ebonyi State will only be hearing of its existence without experiencing it.
He again considered the depreciation in the economic activities his people were experiencing because of the pandemic, he proceeded to make available of palliatives for civil servants, journalist, widows, CAN, our people in Lagos and Abuja, etc. While the general public awaits theirs which is almost ready.
As this was ongoing, he directed the massive production of over 1m face masks through the vocational institute. This was done, fully paid for by the state government and distributed freely to the general public to help in curbing the spread of the virus.
With the highest degree of reverence to his people and sincerity of purpose, Governor David Umahi defied every human odds to fight against the pandemic – placing not only his life and lieutenants but his family on the line. When he firstly championed the course, many opinions abound over the method, manner, humility sense of pity for the people that characterised the daily shuttling between the state’s numerous borders.
From Ishielu to Abaomege. Abaomege to Mile 2 Ishiagu back to Nkalagu, Ishielu, etc. Governor Umahi exhibited the highest degree of sincerity and commitment in any recorded human history. How? It’s not found in any history book that a sitting Governor personally reversed illegally entering vehicles and pleaded with commuters and drivers to stay in their various locations while the pandemic lasts. In one of such occasions, the Governor literally wept.
The sacrifices made in respect to fight against COVID19 is enormous, it cannot be exhausted here. During the swearing-in ceremony of new Executive Council Members, Governor David Umahi in humility told the public that he awaits his COVID-19 results having undergone the test. And when the result was released, he told the general public that he has tested positive to the pandemic.
In all these personal concerted efforts, yet, Corona Virus that has become hydra-headed infected Governor David Umahi, authenticating the claims that it surely has no respect for personality.
Governor Umahi fought gallantly, took the bull by the horn, confronted the dreaded pandemic and contracted it in his effort to ensure that his people are sensitized, informed and safe from the virus. He practically led by example, talked about by NCDC and the country in general in the positive direction on his consistent and strategic fight against the COVID-19.
Indeed, Governor Umahi is no doubt a Hero for not avoiding his people to save himself.
But, this testing positive is just a bruise associated with a fearless Governor at the forefront of war, fighting to save his people.
We are strong-willed and prayerful that, surely, our Governor will come out stronger, better and celebrated, just soonest.
Special Assistant to the Governor
(Media and Publicity)
5th July 2020